25 May 2011

READ: Aaron Patrick Flanagan essay on Sago featured in Tarpaulin Sky

Aaron Patrick Flanagan may be known by some in West Virginia as the former frontman for Morgantown hardcore band The Warriors, who was also an important player in the state's music scene in both Charleston and Morgantown for over a decade. Nowadays, the Elkview native is an educator at Columbia College in Chicago and also a poet.

Much of Flanagan's writing has to do with his Appalachian roots, including his most recently published lyric essay about the 2006 Sago Mine Disaster. The piece is featured in the current issue of literary journal Tarpaulin Sky. Flanagan is one of the finest emerging young writers from West Virginia. I encourage anyone to help support his art by purchasing a copy of the print version of Tarpaulin Sky #17 for only $12.

24 May 2011

WATCH: Elephant Micah performs "West Virginia, My Home" in Louisville

Elephant Micah is Joseph O'Connell, a singer/songwriter from Indiana. Here is a video of Elephant Micah performing the Hazel Dickens classic "West Virginia, My Home" at The Rudyard Kipling in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 14. West Virginia native Andrew Iafrate, who also covered the song in the brotherly duo The Dick Brothers, was lucky enough to be in attendance to record the excellent performance.

18 May 2011

WATCH: The Coffee Experiment features Lewisburg shop

A lovely West Virginia native by the name of Elizabeth runs a site called The Coffee Experiment that is about "traveling the world to explore culture through coffee." I don't drink coffee, but I do love the creative ventures of people from West Virginia. Elizabeth (presumably based in New York) recently featured The Wild Bean coffee shop in Lewisburg among her other videos from Costa Rica, D.C. and Harlem. Along with self-produced short videos, the site features local culture write ups, photographs and more. Seems like she's onto something pretty cool, and it's worth checking out.

17 May 2011

DOWNLOAD: Andrew Iafrate - Hallowed Be Our Wayward Ways

"Andrew Iafrate’s first full-length under his own parentally-given name forges new paths along the folk/country fault lines he hinted at on his last record [as Pariah Prophecy]. 'Wayward Ways' sounds like an old timey album pulled out of the vault after decades of dusty slumber. Iafrate ain't no poser. This is the real deal: modern roots music informed by the very best in the tradition, shunning all the fashion of the current alt-whatever craze."

Artist: Andrew Iafrate
Album: Hallowed Be Our Wayward Ways
Year: 2005
For Fans Of: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, My Morning Jacket, Bon Iver

13 May 2011

DOWNLOAD: Andrew Iafrate - When I Am Stone Dead

When I Am Stone Dead is the 2006 Internet-released EP from indie folk singer/songwriter Andrew Iafrate. It is the pre-cursor to 2007's excellent full-length album The Ravages.

Artist: Andrew Iafrate
Album: When I Am Stone Dead
Year: 2006
For Fans Of: My Morning Jacket, M Ward, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

11 May 2011

WATCH: Andrew Iafrate - Red Light Bay

Here is a friend-made video for the track "Red Light Bay" from Andrew Iafrate's first album Hallowed Be Our Wayward Ways, which I will post tomorrow.

10 May 2011

DOWNLOAD: Andrew Iafrate - The Ravages

"Andrew Iafrate is a musician born and raised in the [Parkersburg,] West Virginia and currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky. He developed a cult following throughout the Midwest following the release of his debut solo record, 2005's Hallowed Be Our Wayward Ways. He has been noted for his strong vocals, intelligent songwriting, and for delivering “indie rock with folk influence at its finest" (Daily Athenauem, Morgantown, West Virginia). He has shown promise in his developing career by supporting acts such as Magnolia Electric Co and J. Glenn (ex-My Morning Jacket). Andrew has followed in the footsteps of artists like Sufjan Stevens and Regina Spector by being featured on NPR's All Songs Considered: Open Mic, a music blog showcasing talented independent musicians.

"After a brief affair with Austin's diverse music scene in 2006, Andrew returned to his home state in order to begin production on his sophomore release, 2007's The Ravages. The record is released under the Factory R imprint–a project label established by West Virginia's defunct sci-fi metal phenomonon The Minus Tide. It features heartfelt, roots-influenced songcraft backed with traditional instrumentation, tight harmonies, and Andrew's haunting, transparent vocal style."

Artist: Andrew Iafrate
Album: The Ravages
Year: 2007
For Fans Of: Magnolia Electric Co., My Morning Jacket, Sufjan Stevens